Met-turned-Buc Welch homers twice

Pirates prospect collects four hits, four RBIs for Altoona

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | July 1, 2012 3:11 PM ET

If Stefan Welch acquired any satisfaction from going deep twice against his former organization never -- not once in five years -- deemed him ready to join, he wasn't saying. But the Australian made it clear he is having a blast playing ball in the Pirates system.

The Met-turned-Pirates prospect smacked a pair of two-run homers in consecutive at-bats to highlight his four-hit, four-RBI day in the Double-A Altoona Curve's 7-4 win Sunday afternoon over the Binghamton Mets.

"It's nice, but I have nothing bad to say about the Mets. It is different playing against them," said Welch, who added he is on friendly terms with two or three of his former fellow farmhands. "It's nice to be doing well."

Batting sixth and playing the hot corner, the left-handed hitter pulled a 3-2 pitch off Mets starter Cory Mazzoni over the right-field fence in the second inning (on a fastball) and the fourth inning (slider).

"The wind was blowing out pretty hard," the native of Adelaide, Australia said modestly after his second multi-homer game of the season. "I just hit it and ran, but I think they both [landed] in the same area."

Despite being Mazzoni's teammate at Class A Advanced St. Lucie last season, Welch said he relied more on the scouting report of his batting coach. After Mazzoni's exit, Welch singled in the fifth and seventh frames before striking out in the ninth. Over his five plate appearances, he saw 29 pitches, or almost six per.

"I didn't think it was that many," he said. "[My approach] changes every game."

Now 23, Welch signed with New York as a non-drafted free agent in January 2005 and, after five Minor League seasons in which he wasn't promoted beyond the Florida State League, left as a free agent. Why sign with Pittsbugh this past offseason? He knew some ballplayers who had and were happy.

Starting out with Class A Advanced Bradenton, Welch posted .265/.320/.429 marks in 65 games before finally reaching Double-A on June 14. He has looked like he belonged all along, batting .431 with four longballs -- three against Binghamton -- and 14 RBIs in 15 games.

Mazzoni (1-2) was charged with six runs on nine hits and didn't come out for the fifth inning.

Curve spot starter Matt McSwain (3-2) gave up three runs on seven hits over five frames.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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